matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (V emblem)
:: Takes out soapbox, gets up on it::

A lot of ink and a lot of electrons are being used to comment and puzzle over the recent shooting in Tucson which claimed the lives of six people and left thirteen others injured, including a Congresswoman. I'm praying for everyone involved in this tragedy, but I feel the need to voice my thoughts on it as well.

One commentator on a local TV news broadcast credited the amount of vitriol that has contaminated political debate as part of the reason for this tragedy. Much as I agree with the man, I believe the problem is a lot more widespread than just the political arena. I believe -- no, I *KNOW* we have a problem with people being disagreeable and vitriolic about most *anything*. Not just politics or religion, but on every level of our life, people are being crass, rude and just plain disagreeable towards each other. I know it's impossible for everyone to agree on everything, and it would be just plain unrealistic. *BUT*, it would help settle things if people would learn to phrase their statements in a polite, well-thought, and articulate manner. I hardly expect people to sound like they wandered in out of a Jane Austen novel (though that would be extremely cool...), but using nonconfrontational I statements (i.e "I believe :: Insert statement" or "I think.... :: Insert idea::") instead of the finger-pointing You statements (ie. "You people do :: Insert action phrase:: ) would probably go a long way toward purging some of the vitriol. I sometimes feel you can't discuss *anything* without it turning into an argument or a debate, that everything gets turned into "sriuz biznesz" whether we want it to or not, and it makes it hard to communicate ones thoughts, when one feels like they're talking to crabby Mrs. Tolliver who's so old and set in her ways that she can't imagine any other way of thinking or acting and who's gotten so entrenched in a Screw Manners, I'm a Senior Citizen manner of behavior that you can't make any headway.

Add to the loss of a sense of manners, is a sense of critical thinking. It seems like a lot of people take things at face value, rather than probe into them and look at them from both sides of the matter. It's a gulp it down way of taking in information, rather than a chew it properly way.

Also, simply stopping and thinking and imagining oneself stating what you're about to come out with to someone you truly love and care about and whose feelings you wouldn't want to hurt might be a good thought exercise. I've been known to mentally rehearse some of my more soapbox-y posts (like this one! :: Laughs::) as if I were speaking it out loud to my mother.

I'm also bothered by the fact that people are trying to lay the blame for this incident on any one particular ideology or group that subscribes to it. There were some liberal commentators who wanted to blame this incident on the conservatives, only to find out that the shooter in this case was one of their own, technically (found that out from one vampirism forum I subscribe to). And of course, the gun laws are being argued over. I personally take a middle stance when it comes to Second Amendment rights: I believe that responsible people should be allowed to own and use firearms; permits, trigger locks, licensing and so forth only do so much good, and criminals and the mentally unstable probably aren't going to utilize them. In and of themselves, firearms pose no threat. It's only when they're loaded and there's someone holding the trigger that they become a threat.

I likely will have more to say about this, but the post is starting to go into TL,DR territory, so I'll get back to it in a bit... I have some fics I'd like to post, and I also have headspace dwellers who are clamoring to have a post written in their journal(s)

I live!

Aug. 14th, 2010 02:29 pm
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (TrueBlood)
I've been on a bit of a hiatus from this journal, mostly because I've been busy, partly because I've been trying to let the dust settle after a kerfuffle earlier this week.

One thing that's kept me scurrying around doing errands, even when it was hot out: I needed a new pair of sandals badly, since the pair I was wearing simply were falling apart at the heels. But try finding a pair of *SENSIBLE SANDALS* these days when women seem to be wearing those flippy, frippy, strippy-strappy things that look like they're designed for tooling around the mall or showing off to ones galpals, and not necessarily walking a mile in. I don't/can't drive due to my sensory overload issues (trust me: I am all but a nervous wreck behind the wheel, plus cars are expensive to maintain), thus I buy shoes for their durability and comfort. Unfortunately I had to search through about five or six stores before I found a sensible style, similar to the pair I have. I did, however, get myself a few consolation prizes along the way, including: a Hello Kitty throw pillow with a black and white polka dot hairbow on one ear, and a black and white Hello Kitty throw blanket for the coming cold months, and... a bottle of TruBlood. Really! I have yet to drink it, and right now, it's sitting on my bookshelf, next to (I kid you not) a small crucifix!

Also, have been watching the 2009 version of "The Prisoner", featuring Jim Caviezel and Sir Ian McKellen (otherwise known to the [livejournal.com profile] carpe_ho_ras gang as "11-12's canon"). Cue yours truly making jokes about "Jesus and Gandalf in the same TV series". I'm rather glad I'm only passingly familiar with the Patrick McGoohan version from the 1960s, as this helped me approach it with a blank slate, though there again, I tend to be open-hearted towards most adaptations, unless it's hopelessly wonky (viz. the 2001 version of "The Time Machine" and the Ralph Bakshi animated versions of "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings"). I enjoyed it immensely and am planning to rewatch it very soon: the visuals and the acting is utterly incredible. Still trying to figure a few things out, but that's what rewatches are for. Also, their use of some Beach Boys songs made me laugh (sort of a riff on the Patrick McGoohan version and its use of Beatles songs). I also found it rather interesting that 6 in both versions is played by a Catholic actor who's been known to turn down or request adjustments in roles which don't sit right with their comfort levels and their consciences; Patrick McGoohan rather famously turned down the role of James Bond because he wasn't comfortable with the character's more or less loose moral code, and Jim Caviezel has been known to gently insist that love scenes be toned down. (Note: this is by no means a judgment on love scenes in movies/TV; everyone has different comfort levels and consciences of varying sensitivities. I'm not always comfortable with certain things, so I just Look Away on certain bits. But I applaud actors who respect themselves by being true to their consciences, and I applaud directors who are willing to make adjustments in their creation in order to respect their actors.).

Also watching "Gankutsuou [The Count of Monte Cristo]", which I am thoroughly enjoying, even if the color scheme can make my eyes ache at times. The Count makes me think somewhat of a cross between a kinder, gentler Alucard and one of the elves from "Those Who Hunt Elves", while I'm having fun doing "Hey It's That Voice": the girl who voices Orihime in "Bleach" as Peppo, the guy who voiced Jet Black as one of the Count's manservants, Wendee Lee in several roles, the voice actress for the bitchy actress in the King of Swords arc of YnM in several other roles, Liam O'Brien aka. Hisoka from ditto as Albert's rival, Aramaki's VA as a random old man, and I think I might have heard Michael Ross (End of Evangelion!Fuyutsuki) in some random supporting part. To say nothing of increasingly ubiquitous Jonny Yong Bosch as Albert.

Of course this, coupled with re-rewatching the last two episodes of "Gormenghast" over the weekend, preparatory to intro'ing Titus Groan at the Mansion, has caused one headspace dweller to warn me that he's close to having an aneurysm over the sheer number of attractive young men that are in these series, particularly ones he's met at the Mansion.
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Bicelibate)
I've been somewhat AWOL from this journal, and for decidedly personal reasons. I'm going to express them here, but first, I feel the need to post a bit of a disclaimer.

The views expressed herein are extremely personal, and of a very sensitive nature, since they are expressed by a very sensitive person. People are free to disagree with them; I only ask for a certain level of respect and politeness toward them. If you feel the need to comment on something therein which displeases you, please stop for a moment and think about what you are planning to say. Please step away from the keyboard, if necessary, and get yourself a glass of iced tea or chocolate milk or your beverage of choice to refresh yourself. One thing that is not allowed here on this LiveJournal, are keyboard smash disagreements. It makes the poster look like an angry gorilla, and it makes me feel like a bad person for upsetting the poster and I start to question if I belong in this world.

Okay, that said...

Cut for content )
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Book-canon!Steerpike)
Why yes, it's another Gormenghast ramble: I guess this is my latest Aspie fixation, and it's certainly a rich one...

One of the latest in a series of packages of things bough via Amazaon showed up today, bringing a collection of short stories by Mervyn Peake, including most prominently "Boy in Darkness", a kind of side-story to the Gormenghast novels. There's an interesting point which Maeve Gilmore (Mrs. Mervyn) makes in the preface:

"[N]o book, however long, can possibly chronicle every incident in its character's life. There are many events, and adventures or meetings with people which take place outside the book, just as we, however close we are to our families or friends, can only know a small part of what makes up other people's lives."

You could definitely use that as an apologia for fanfiction writing. We fanfic writers are merely writing the bits that the canon creator didn't write, didn't think to write, or decided not to write. There's apparently a notebook in which Peake had jotted a bunch of ideas for Gormenghast, which never made it into the bricks, including the possibility of making the Steerpike/Fuschia pairing fully canonic (up to and including SP impregnating Fuschia, which leads to her suiciding; I can't help wondering if the "SP as a Groan bastard" theory which mini-series canon strongly yet subtly supports is in there as well, because if it isn't, it was a lost opportunity on Peake's part since it puts the story into the same league as Greek tragedy). Which leads me to add that I'm poking at a pair of very short "missing scene" fanfics: one which explains why Fuschia in her mid-twenties is described as "no longer a virgin" (ie. I reveal who her lover/bed-buddy is; not telling till I post it) and the other is a rather tragic sketch set after her suicide, in which Prunesquallor has to do a post-mortem examination.

Also, I have (technically) finished reading the bricks! Though I had a moment of "Hey, wait, what?" when I happened to open the omnibus and find that "Titus Alone" was several chapters longer than my stand-alone paperback edition (the Ballantine paperback from the 1970s). I was more than a little irritated, since I don't tend to like the edited version of anything. However, it turns out the edits were made in order to make the narrative more coherent. Which lead me to think, "Okay, I can get that from an editorial standpoint, but from a thematic and creative standpoint, it kind of goes against the grain of a world where madness and eccentricity dominate and where things losing their meaning is the order of the day."

I have to admit, I rather liked "Titus Alone", not quite as much as the first two books, but I still enjoyed it immensely. And as I move toward intro'ing one version of Titus Groan at a Certain Mansion, I'm thinking of making some strong references to elements in it, although his entry point will be coming at the end of the books/end of the mini-series, since I'm combining book and mini-series canon (it's sort of book continuity with the trappings of the mini-series, thus he won't be expecting an Evil Albino when he meets our SP).
matrixrefugee: (Steerpike)
As promised for the [livejournal.com profile] carpe_ho_ras crowd and anyone else who's amused with my blitherings about fictitious people who use my brain cells as hitching posts. I'd watched the first two hours of the mini-series version of 'Gormenghast' Sunday night, with some of the headspace dwellers -- specifically Muraki and Tsuzuki, whom I have been RPing, with a guest appearance by our latest new guest, Titus Groan. What follows is a sampling of some of the crazy comments that were exchanged.

WARNING: Contains copious spoilers and random craziness, also slashy cross-fandom UST (canonic per the hijinks at the Mansion). Consider yourself warned

Also, this is by no means complete, as some of the shtick has begun to fade from memory, thus I may rewatch it and refresh said memories. I did the major highlights...

In which there is much geekery, ogling and cracky comments )
matrixrefugee: (Steerpike)
Still reading "The Art of 'Gormenghast'" whilst reading "the bricks" (as [livejournal.com profile] tomboy_typist has eloquently dubbed them), and a quote from Mervyn Peake himself jumped out at me:

If I had set the story in Paddington, I should have been restricted by the need for urban accuracy.

I bought the DVDs because I got tired of trying to watch the miniseries on YouTube and having to put up with glimpses of raving looney comments from the purists yelling about the art design being too colorful or the lighting being too brilliant. If Peake deliberately wanted the setting to be a bit hard to place, there was nothing wrong in the art design crew borrowing design ideas from hither, thither and yon, from everything from nineteenth century Spain, Tibet, to Byzantium, China, etc. etc. etc. The Chinese influences are straight on, since Peake grew up in China, after all. It gives it a sense of timelessness with an odd air of familiarity at the same time. Stephen Fry, who plays Bellgrove the headmaster in the miniseries, pointed out (in his introduction for the "Art of..." companion book) that people love to describe Gormenghast as "gothic" and then he proceeds to point out how there's so many applications of the word that it's become meaningless (Interesting, since one of the major themes of the bricks is how things that are overused lose their meaning...).

Another thing the purists seem to love to yell about are the changes made in Steerpike's character in a bid to make him a bit more sympathetic, specifically the fact that he's been hideously abused by Swelter (need I elaborate, given things I've written about that happened in my own extended family?). And to be honest, I think the producers just made this a bit more obvious. There's one passage in the bricks where some of the kitchen boys are horsing around and Swelter drags two of them aside for the purpose of "disciplining them" (which Flay thankfully interrupts)... and while the writing is subtle -- it's one of the few genuinely frightening passages in a series which has a lot of black humor to temper the weirdness -- it doesn't take much imagination to figure out what Swelter Has In Mind... If a reader misses that, I wish I still had their innocence.

Speaking of the bricks... I've just started the third "Titus Alone", which I hadn't read when I first read the series years ago (I think I'd gotten as far as the first few chapters of the second book when I stopped due to the omnibus having to go back to the library). It's very different in style, but still in the same darkly ludicrous spirit as the first two. And I have to admit, I'm as surprised by the world outside Gormenghast as our young hero is, though in my case it's a matter of "Oh... there is a vaguely recognizable modern industrial world beyond the stones..." albeit a steampunk transitioning into dieselpunk one. (Someone on Wikipedia described it as steampunk, but I kept getting these Art Deco-ish mental images for the design of the building where Titus literally crashes a swanky party)

And dare I say, we've now got a Titus in headspace, whom I'm tempted to eventually throw into the Mansion and see what happens. He's about fifteen and seems sulky, but he's actually rather pensive underneath it. Tsuzuki took an instant liking to him, but as soon as Muraki found out who the kid is, his polite air became a mask to hide the plotting...
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Yami no Matsuei/Descendants of Darkness)
Two for one! I'm feeling generous today... Better get a drink: here be a long post...

Rambling the First -- The Nephillim Vector )

Leaving some space to prevent spoilage...

I'd had a mini-rant here, but I'd decided to cut it, since it was grumbling about other people grumbling...

Still some space for spoilage prevention...

"Bill Stickers will be prosecuted" -- actual sign on a wall in England, which gave J.R.R. Tolkien the inspiration for a goofy robber named Bill Stickers.

Muraki: "Hm, was that a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment?"

Tsuzuki: "Hey, did you catch the talking in TV Tropes bug?"

Muraki: "There's worse things one could catch..."

Tszuki: "I thought you were mad at that site because they filed you under Four Eyes No Soul?"

Muraki: "I was irritated because in my case it's Three Eyes No Soul. Are they unable to count properly on that site?"

Ref: "Shut it you two, you're taking up space..."




Rambling the Second -- Handwaving the Head in a Vat WARNING! Here there be spoilers )
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code ("Welcome to my Life")
None of this is liable to make much sense since I had a cruddy day, up to and including almost having a meltdown because a young man with Tourette's Syndrome was in the lane next to mine and I was overstimulated already. It wasn't his fault: it was the fault of the bad wiring in my head.

Had "one of those days" at work: despite the fact that everyone was going on about how nice it was outside (and it was very nice today: I didn't have to wear my scarf or my thermals for the first time in weeks), they all came crowding into the store. Buh? Shouldn't they be out enjoying the sunshine? (Unless they did that over the weekend and now they need to play catch-up on buying groceries)

Cut for fandom ranting, with possible triggers )
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Cogito_Ergo_Snark)
Based on more than a few rants lately on [livejournal.com profile] fanficrants, I'm starting to wonder if one needs to post warnings about, well, the whole fic in some cases? Especially since I am sitting here eying one of my [livejournal.com profile] centi_50 drabbles which went right into R-/M-rated territory (yes, a certain gent whose name begins with M is involved and I'm tempted to Lampshade that as a joke), and for some, it might be NC-17-/MA-rated territory. After a few kerfuffles I've had on here, I'm gun-shy about high-rated fics. And what about the warnings? If I post a warning for the whole thing, it's going to be a bit spoilery. And make the header longer than the damn fic, which causes me to think of the tractor part of a highway tractor-trailer rig towing a small fiberglass trailer carrying a minuscule wooden rowboat.

Back to the M-rated fic, I'm also worried this could also bring the creeps back to this LJ; the last time I wrote the pair involved, there were a few comments that made me cringe a bit, though I could just have been acting over-sensitive. I technically ship said pair, but with reservations, since it defines "unhealthy relationship", or "bad romance" to quote a Lady GaGa song which fits said pair just a little too well. I have to admit, I went a bit over the top, and I'm tempted to think part of me was channeling Hideaki Anno at that point. Instead of it being "Okay, fans, you wanna see a main character die a horrible, messy death? You got it!" (ie. Asuka's horrible death in "End of Evangelion"), it's "Okay, you don't want me to fade to black this time? You got it! And just remember: one of 'em is a borderline pyschopath who likes sharp things..." Maybe I'll succeed as well as Anno did and creep out the creeps. I'm just worried about creeping out everyone else in the process, though trust me, in my case a creepy story is creepy because, rather than be Fetish Fuel, it needed creepy to be a good story.
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Morrigan)
The thought crossed my mind: what does one call a group of death gods? I used the phrase "bevy of shinigami" in an earlier entry, and it started to bug me what the proper term would be? (Yes, I obsess over things like this: it's more interesting than obsessing over bills or my alleged lack of a "love life", which I actually have, it's just not a romantic one). The phrase "a scything of reapers" came to mind, but this would likely apply best to western pyschopomps (even though the Japanese pop-culture image of the shinigami is actually borrowed from the western notion of "the Grim Reaper": the word "shinigami" apparently wasn't coined until sometime in the Meiji period). I'm still stuck as to what to call a bunch of their eastern cousins.

Another thing occurred to me, something that has popped up in a couple series featuring pyschopomps: someone mind-controlling a psychopomp. It happened in an episode of Supernatural, where Tessa the Reaper was briefly possessed, and it happens in an episode of Bleach, when one of the Bounts mind-controls one little Soul Reaper. This bugs me to no end: if something is the personification of that cosmic dynamic which indicates the cessation of life or at least a dramatic and unalterable change in how one's existence is experienced, doesn't that mean they're considerably more powerful and thus outside of being controlled by something lesser? I can go with a pyschopomp being physically restrained (the Aleister Crowley-wannabe in the first volume of the Sandman Comics tries to pull this off, and it happens a few times in Yami no Matsuei), but someone hijacking the volition of a psychopomp is likely worse than having a terrorist get their hands on a nuclear missile silo. I mean, think about that for a moment: you have a creature that can end life (however one defines that ending); I would think there is some cosmic law that prevents this from happening, in case someone goes completely Omnicidal. If you think of life in the eastern sense, ie. that everything has a spark of life in it, from humans down to the tiniest stones, can you imagine the devastation that could be caused? We're not just talking about end of the world as we know it, it could be the heat death of the universe if you had someone angry enough and destructive enough controlling said psychopomp(s). It also defines God-Moding. Which we know I despise. I guess what I'm saying is, my Willing Suspension of Disbelief stops at the idea of a mind-controlled psychopomp, since there's some major teleological High Octane Nightmare Fuel involved.

Also managed to scribble down the last of the [livejournal.com profile] centi_50 fics, though none of those will go live until after I've finished the 12 Fanfic Roses challenge. So expect a torrent of those once I finish showering you with roses (though if I don't get cracking with those, you're likely to see me dump the basket upside down over your heads, which may not be good for the Friends list).

Hm. Now I'm curious: there's two YnM crossovers which I wonder if they've been done. One with The Sandman Comics specifically the Death comics (since Death would probably glom on Hisoka and/or Tsuzuki big time: there's a creepy one featuring the Corinthian and his possible involvement with Muraki's glass eye) and one with "Dead Like Me" (though if George and Hisoka got together, they'd likely annoy the crap out of each other, since they're both snarky and a bit diffident; I imagine Mason and Tsuzuki would be the best of buddies, but I wonder how Rube and Tatsumi would get along since they're both rather meticulous). Off to go a-searching!!
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Yami no Matsuei/Descendants of Darkness)
It just dawned on me that as of this past weekend, it's been a year since I first watched Yami no Matsuei, though it took me two (three?) weekends to finish it (and I really didn't start considering myself a fan until I started reading/buying the manga in the autumn of last year). I can thank my friend Mark for this, because he gave me access to his NetFlix account, even helping me set up my comp for direct downloads. He's always giving me these lovely lists of "must see" movies (usually of a Christian bend or at least more or less family-friendly), but what was the third or fourth thing I had to go and watch but a semi-shounen-ai anime series featuring a bevy of cute shinigami and a Depraved Bisexual who might be an energy vampire?? I did warn him that if he saw any anime titles pop up on his Recently Viewed list, it was probably something I'd been watching. I just wonder if he actually tried watching any of my leavings. He hasn't politely confronted me about it (as he tends to do when I've watched something he finds wonky), so I doubt that he has. Still... the subversive side of me can't help wondering... :: Adjusts half-rimmed glasses, smirks mysteriously::

I'm not sure what possessed me to watch it, unless it was a vague memory of an "A.I." fan-buddy of mine, one "Sapphire Rose" or "ice_hot" (depending on what journal she was using), waxing rhapsodic about the series (If I remember correctly, she fangirled Hisoka, and she kind of had a similarly snarky disposition). I tend to watch anime series that have been either directly recommended to me, or have themes similar to ones I've seen, or which are talked-about in depth by people I know (either familiarly or in passing) and therefore make me wonder what the fuss is about. I'm still stymied as to why I chose that opportunity at that time, unless I was feeling a bit mischievous. Whatever my reasons, it was a case of "Came for the supernatural themes, stayed for the character dynamics -- and cute guys".

Sure, there's things about the series that make it lopsided: the plotting in the manga is uneven at times (the anime tightens the plot arcs considerably; too bad there's only thirteen episodes: I would have liked to have seen the Bookworld plot arc brought to life, particularly since it fleshes out Tatsumi's personality and his relationship with Tsuzuki). There could be a little more world-building and it could be a smidge more consistent (I tend to borrow a few odds and ends from Bleach to patch things over; don't ask me why I do this, besides the fact that both series feature snarky teenaged shinigami with Kurosaki for a last name). The translation in the dub seems a bit awkward in places (I have yet to watch it subbed), and then there's the issue of Muraki's VA in the dub (I still think Manga Entertainment originally contracted either Crispin Freeman or the guy who voices Aizen in the dub of Bleach and he went AWOL after reading the script, as a result of finding out what a freaky bastard Muraki is), but I must say, despite sounding like he needs a dose of Sudafed, Edward McLeod certainly nailed Muraki's weird personality, giving his performance the right balance of creepiness, cold-blooded nastiness, insanity and deviance, bringing sexy back to Evil is Sexy. One of these days, I may watch it subbed, now that I have the hard-to-find-at-a-reasonable-price boxed set of the DVDs. I'm glad I found it since while I was delighted to find that the dub sites I've been frequenting now carry it, I had to endure the fact that they're hosting the Bowlderized version that the SciFi Channel is/was running (why they had to put it in the 8 pm block is beyond me: if they'd run it at 9 or 10, this would be less of a problem for the Media Watchdogs and thus they wouldn't have made the minor but annoying cuts). Would I want it improved? I don't know: somehow, the wonkiness of it all makes it endearing, like an awkward puppy who's bouncing around so much that he falls over himself (hey, that kind of describes Tsuzuki...). I used to count this series as my main anime guilty pleasure, but now over time the guilt has diminished.
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code ("Enniel Prussot")
But first, another "Hey, It's That Voice" moment: "Whoa... am I hearing this right or am I just that tired? Rukia's captain sure sounds like a Certain Shinigami Named Kurosaki, if his voice had changed a little more..." (Liam O'Brien, who voiced Hisoka in Yami no Matsuei, only this time his voice is a bit deeper, no doubt because he's not trying to sound like an Unfunny sixteen year old).

Also, I'd like to borrow one of Tsuzuki's twelve shikigami, specifically Touda, the fiery black serpent, to burn the captain of Squad 12 to cinders and beyond, since said shikigami is capable of burning even a death god to the final death and one would think the same would apply to Soul Reapers (Yeah, I yelled "Die in a fire!" at the screen a few times, corrected myself, then realized there was a cross-universe possibility...). I called this guy "The Even More Not So Good Doctor", and I wasn't kidding: he makes Muraki look like a nice guy by comparison. But then again, the YnM manga strongly hints that the Evil Albino may be a case of Love Makes You Evil; Dr. Noh is just plain ghastly and devoid of anything remotely or vaguely resembling humanity. I hope that's the last I see of him in this series; there's hating a villain because he's a bad guy, and then there's hating a villain because the character annoys you and seems two-dimensional and Dr. Noh is the latter case.

But on to the speculations. First: Abel Nightroad's sweet tooth. I somehow came up with the crazy theory that a certain daffy priest's sweet tooth might have a somewhat practical application. Might have something to do with calories being burned like mad when the nanomachines are shifting him from normal mode to Crusnik mode (conservation of mass and of energy and all that). But thirteen sugars in one cup of tea?! Someday I'm going to try and see what happens if you actually put thirteen sugars in a cup of tea (ie. do you really wind up with a cup full of soggy tea-colored sugar cubes as it's drawn in the anime?). I know Crusniks are basically test-tube-grown humans with nanomachines implanted into them, but I'm really curious about their physiology and genetics now.

Speculation the second: Muraki's glass eye. There's quite a bit of Wild Mass Guessing in the fandom. The most conservative guess is that it's a plain old glass eye (or a removable acrylic insert over a permanently implanted core made out of coral, which is how most real-world "glass" eyes are made). The wildest guess is that it could be a cybernetic implant (turns out there was a research team in Japan who really were testing out cybernetic eyes on human volunteers; it failed horribly and they shut down the project); I've even toyed with the notion that if it is cybernetic, it might be equipped with night vision (all the better to stalk his tender prey with...). In a moment of Occam's Razor, it occurred to me that it could might not even be an artificial eye, but a cloned eye, since his mentor and former professor is involved in cloning organs. What's never made clear is how he lost the eye, but I know a Sandman crossover featuring The Corinthian, which was so awesomely written that I've adopted it into my personal fan-mythos.

Speculation the third: zanpaktou vs. wacky female energy vampire armed with an assault rifle retrofitted with a crossbow on top. Cut for length )
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Cal and Niko Leandros)
Okay, got that off my chest, and now I can focus on other things, like:

--"Deathwish", the fourth of the Cal Leandros novels. Oh my! I'm only on the second chapter, but I'm loving what Rob Thurman is doing, in splitting the POV between Cal and Niko. I like Niko: he's the rational, level-headed one who keeps Cal from spiraling into himself too far. And while I have a complete understanding and acceptance of Cal's outlook on life, it can get a little grating at times (maybe because I work with people who bitch about far less painful stuff than what this guy has gone through, so I have to detox or digest some of this before I can deal with his -- albeit justified -- bitching and moaning).

--Trinity Blood: Rage Against the Moon Book 1. Whoa... the violence is a lot more graphic than in the anime, but there again, I don't mind written gore as much as I get squicked by visual gore (even cel-shaded gore, if it involves humans; "The Animatrix: Second Renaissance" defines High Octane Nightmare Fuel for me and, Matrix fan that I am, that's one part of the series which I am unable to rewatch). I guess this makes me the reverse of Neil Gaiman, it would seem, per the story about how he earned the nickname "Scary Trousers" from Alan Moore.

--Rewatching Blood+, since I needed something going in the background when I finally banged out the last three fanfics early yesterday morning, and had a Hey It's That Voice moment crossed with an Expy: How many voice parts did Crispin Freeman take in this series? Not only did he voice Haji, he also voiced one of the antagonists of the piece, ie. Van Argiano, as well as a few random spear-carriers. Also Van looks eerily like he should be Muraki's long-lost twin (except he's narrower through the shoulders and chest and probably shorter as well), which makes me not feel so awkward that one of my Grigori in "Neon Enoch Evangelion" is also a Muraki Expy.
matrixrefugee: the word 'refugee' in electric green with a background of green matrix code (Muraki and Tsuzuki)
Or, How, with the Help of a Green-Eyed Love Machine, a Messianic Figure and His Opposite, and Some Handsome Death Gods, and Those Who Like to Write about Them, Along with a Writer whose Name is Pronounced Somewhat Like "Gay Man", I Learned to Stop Being a Rules Lawyer and Start Appreciating Some Pairings and/or the Writers Therof

Cut for length and content. You might want to get yourself a sandwich and something to drink. Here be a big-ol' post )

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